“Chimera.” Midori Kirigaya folded her hands on the medical paperwork in front of her, regarding the hapless young doctor who’d obviously drawn the short straw. “I take it you’re not referring to a fire-breathing monster with a snake for a tail.”
“Ah, no,” Dr. Oshiro admitted, winter sunlight glinting off a retreating hairline. “It’s a technical term for an individual composed of two distinct genetic sources… ahem. Right now, the important factor is that the foreign cells don’t extend beyond the cutaneous layer. Cosmetic surgery should be able to remove them… as soon as circumstances permit.”
As soon as a madman’s deathtrap is off his head, you mean. Midori kept her gaze on him, polite but unsmiling.
“In the meantime, your son’s immune system appears to consider them harmless,” Oshiro said briskly. “I know it’s alarming, and we will be monitoring the situation, but we have no reason to believe he’ll have anything wrong with him besides a few scars-”
Assuming a madman’s game doesn’t kill him. “Thank you for your concern, Doctor,” Midori cut him off, suddenly frustrated enough to want to pick up her father’s bad habits with idiots. Much of which involved a bokken. “I believe I need some time.” She gathered the pages in front of her, as if perfectly aligned sheets of medicalese were the only goal in the world. “Has anything like this happened to other players?”
“…That would be a matter of doctor-patient confidentiality, Mrs. Kirigaya.”
Not a no. And from the way his brow was just a little shinier, he was sweating.
So it’s not just my son. Something’s happening to the people in Kayaba’s NerveGear.
She wasn’t going to go so far as to believe it was magic. There had to be a reasonable, logical explanation that didn’t involve people in another world waving their hands and sprinkling in eye of newt-
In another world.
Alternate universes could exist, theoretically. Dimensions where history went differently, where humans never evolved, where the universe itself was inimical to life. It wasn’t that much of a stretch to say one universe might contact another.
In another world. I could believe in another world, if there were proof.
But maybe we have proof. “What kind of feathers are they?”